Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Finding Paradise Part 1


Inviting

I have heard a few horror stories about my neighbors being robbed at night and in clear day light. The thieves, armed with sharp parangs and acid tongues, were unafraid to pry open pagars and doors, and harass families for cash and jewelry. Thank God that none of the neighbors were hurt, but you should look at their faces. You can feel from their eyes how such events have completely disrupted and changed their lives. As a result, more solid steal pagars are raised. Security alarms are placed. Their children now play indoors. Security is everything.

This is exactly what is happening to a tiny island known as Bali. And this is incredibly unfortunate.

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Before my holiday in Bali, my perception of the place has always been Paradise. My friends, who visited the island many times, described how incredibly friendly the people are. Everything, from oil paintings of rice fields to ornate wooden sculptures, are dirt cheap. Gorgeous branded hotels deck the place, and the lulur body scrubs and spas are stuff of dreams. But when I told my colleagues that I will be going to Bali, the first thing they said was, "Aren't you afraid?"

Apart of me was. It is no secret that Bali was bombed twice by terrorists that have killed too many locals and tourists. Should my pals (Len and Shob) and I go then? Well, I had to. I bought the tickets already. I have renewed my passport. My boss have cleared my leaves. All I kept telling myself, as I sat on the MAS airplane, was to completely have no regrets.

When I first saw Bali from the plane, I held my breath. You had to. Because it is that amazing.


Almost Virgin

When the plane touched down and my friends and I scrambled out, we were greeted with the airport which was pretty much similar to the one in Subang. But what was different is this: a huge, decorative wall carving and a Balinese garden with a deep, dark pool. It was slightly mystifying, but I kept telling myself that this must be the commercialized version. For God's sake, it was in the airport!


Me like

My friends and I carried our heavy bags and lined up to let the immigration officers clear our passports and bags. When walking towards the exit, Len whispered to me that an immigration officer asked him whether we knew Nordin Mat Top. And that's when I paused for a second, maybe even for a two, and then walked out the airport with a quiet air of caution.

But I did not have to. When the taxi driver knew we were Malaysians, he cried out welcome, got our bags and us into his taxi, and cheerfully detailed the places to go and the history behind buildings and statues that passed us. As I laughed and ooh and aah at the taxi driver's version of Bali 101, I whispered to my heart, I am in Bali! I am in Bali!

And Bali whispered to back to me, well duh!

(To be continued...)

11 Comments:

Anonymous tgb said...

gosh, can't wait to hear the whole story abt it!! :p i'm sure that you had a great time there! tell me more when we meet yeah! and oh, did you get my ym?, i lost my phone and all my contacts, forgot to ask you the other day. so, do text me your # please! :p ciou!

11:10 PM  
Blogger shobshob said...

ahh Bali.. reading your blog makes me remember the whole experience again... i remember a few moments before touching down on the runway, i can see the waves breaking on my left with the beach on the background.. and on the right is the view of high cliffs raising steeply above the sea with many villas dotting on it.... amazing view!

3:19 AM  
Anonymous krinch said...

wow... i can't wait for the next installment of Finding Paradise! Well, the story a lil bit different when I was in Bangkok. The immigration asked many questions to a person from China or Indo-China. But for a Malaysian, just stamp and go. (err.. your picture is taken as well)

4:13 AM  
Blogger *Splash* said...

Finally a long awaited post! don't keep us in suspense! cerita please! Good to have you back safe & sound Mudcake!

7:20 AM  
Blogger Cosmic_GurL said...

Am I the only one who hasnt been to Bali? Sigh...

6:40 PM  
Blogger cikPijah said...

bali is best kan? went there last month and still can't get over the urge to go there again.

7:37 PM  
Blogger 9 said...

i am going to remind you, like i reminded all of my blog mates who had gone off on holidays;

"don't forget to take pics of those hot balinese chics".

heh.

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank god ur back my lunch breaks were getting a tad bit boring !
- From Anonymous the Hot n Sexy one have to set me self apart as there are also other Anon people.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Muddy said...

tgb :

done. as requested. :)

shobshob :

wah, so very descriptive one. kekeke. :P

krinch :

haiyoh, not fair greener pastures send you here and there while the only outstation i got was jb. hu. kekeke. :P

8:16 PM  
Blogger Muddy said...

splash :

hehehe will do soon. just managed to find an hour to breathe and do this comment thing. ;P yeah, am safe and sound. but i still have this backache though. huhu.

cosmic gurl :

don't worry k. if you check out mas webpage, the deals to go there is dirt cheap. take a holi at bali, you won't regret it. ;)

cikpijah :

hey, thanks for dropping by. :) yeah, bali was beyond what i expected. i see you were in kuta most of the times. did you manage to go to ubud area?

8:19 PM  
Blogger Muddy said...

9 :

hahaha...ok, just an update : according to the boys and me, the hot balinese women tend to be from the upper-class segment. you can see the difference. they tend to be fairer, stylish, curves beyond dreams, haiyoh. but the "normal" bali girls are far more baik and sopan santun though, which is a definite plus-plus.

hot and sexy anon :

hahaha ok, will write more to keep your lunches more interesting. ;)

8:23 PM  

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